The contents of this post are solicited opinion that I have been asked by a Code Golf moderator to share with you. I understand "If you don't like it, then GEETTT OOUUTT" applies here, so I have already submitted my account for deletion.
I joined Code Golf because the challenge of fulfilling certain criteria in the most terse possible syntax seemed awesome. Hacking languages to make them do stuff they weren't meant to in new and creative ways? Sign me up!!
Whoa then, what's this? Somebody posted a solution in a language I've never heard about, and solved the problem in 10 characters. Cool! Fifteen minutes of Wikipedia brings me up to speed on esoteric programming languages and I have a good laugh that someone went through all sorts of trouble to make a language that is basically useless except for getting a few tasks done in a very cryptic, dense syntax.
The next day, I log back into Code Golf and, oh look, that esolang has the top answer again. 4 bytes. Let's scroll down and... another esolang does it in 3 bytes. 5 bytes... Ok... getting old. When the solution language is designed for the exact problem, we are no longer hacking anything.
Analogy problem: Bake a moused-shaped cookie in as few steps as possible. Solutions:
- Foil (15 steps), 2 upvotes: I shaped a piece of foil in the shape of a mouse and put the cookie dough inside.
- Knife (9 steps), 5 upvotes: I baked a normal cookie, then cut a mouse out of it using the following technique...
- MseShpdCttr (1 step), 25 upvotes: I used this device called MseShpdCtter that takes a lump of dough and shapes and bakes and spits out a mouse shaped cookie.
But the fact is every Code Golf thread is dominated by these esolangs and makes it really not fun to see a "competition" with the languages listed above. Yes, I know there is supposedly a winner for each language, but the fact is this is Stack Exchange and the top responses get the most focus. The current system is not suited for "there is one winner per programming language", and the people actually hacking up answers are at the bottom of the (fifth) page.
The line was finally crossed when I saw a Hello World challenge and the most upvoted response was a zero-byte solution in some language that prints
Hello, world! with no input or code. That's not interesting. That's not hacking. For me, that's not fun.
I wish I had novel suggestions to improve this site. "Specify the language" doesn't seem like it would get enough independent responses.
esolangs-only tags are arbitrary. Maybe something like restricting answers by default to the top 10 most used languages on GitHub at the time or something would work, but there is a very real chance that is not in line with the community's zeitgeist.
Like everything, Code Golf isn't perfect. I can think of other ways this site can be improved and could be hashed out with the community and morphed into implementations we all benefit from. I think other people are sharing ideas on Meta with that purpose in mind. However, all of this is drowned out by the problem detailed above, and I don't see the point of working out details of improvements when Code Golf's foundation is fundamentally flawed.
So, because I cannot think of any feasible ways to help this community improve, I am just going to leave. I hope one day somebody here figures out a way to isolate the MseShpdCttr solutions from the ones utilizing universal tools, but until then farewell.